For a few weeks now, I’ve had a thing on my elbow. It’s a bump. A hump. It’s about the size of a dime, and it moves around. It doesn’t hurt unless I press on it really hard. It’s just there. And it’s been freaking me out.
For weeks now, weird thoughts have gone through my brain. They have ranged from:
- It’s a cancerous growth that will be the end of me.
- It’s just the first of many that will plague my body, and I’ll forever have to cover every ounce of my skin.
- I will lose my arm over this and have to figure out how to ride a bike one-armed.
- At least it’s my left arm and I’ll still be able to write.
- I think my arm is weakening. What if it breaks and can’t heal?
Finally today, I went to a doctor, hoping she would say that it’s absolutely nothing. And she did. It’s nothing. It’s a cyst that may or may not be the result of a trauma or repetitive use. It may or may not go away. I may or may not want to have removed one day. It’s not going to kill me or even hurt me. But boy did I have myself convinced that it would.
How quickly my brain goes to the worst case scenario.
I’m not a worst-case-scenario person when it comes to other people. I believe in the goodness of others. I believe their challenges will work out. I believe opportunities will present themselves in God’s timing. For others, I believe in so much. For myself though, it’s a challenge to believe all those things.
I want to be someone who believes in – who expects – goodness in my own life. I want to expect goodness, not just when things are good, but all the time.
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.
I’ve been looking at a picture of myself from when I was just a year and a half old. Old family friends emailed it to me a while back, and I’ve been fascinated with it, in part because I think I’m really cute in it, but also because I have been thinking of myself as that little girl. Look at her. She’s cute, right?
I think so. I love this picture of me.
I wonder how different life would be if I talked to myself today the way I would talk to the little girl in the picture.
I would tell her that everything will be okay. I would tell her she can do whatever she wants with her life. I would tell her to chase her dreams and to go play and to just not worry about anything. I would tell her how loved and smart and adorable she is. I would tell her that she can do absolutely anything she puts her mind to.
I would never tell her she’s fat. Or stuck. Or that she’s destined for struggle. Or that it’s too late to try something new. Or that her future won’t work out. Or that she’s going to die because of some stupid thing on her elbow.
That kid – she’s a precious badass with an incredibly bright future, and she deserves all the love, success, and joy the world can muster for her. And when she’s ninety or even forty-five, she’s going to wake up every day excited about what’s in store for her, in love with the people around her, and ready to do good for herself and others.
Of course she is. And of course she will. I want that for her. I expect that for her. Every. Single. Day. Starting right now.
After all, the thing on my elbow is nothing. I’ve got another 45 years at least of life to plan. And I’m going to do it with that little girl in mind.